Social Reactions: Ohio State Adds the No. 1 Player in the Transfer Portal, Former Alabama Safety Caleb Downs

By Andy Anders on January 19, 2024 at 9:41 pm
Caleb Downs
Kiyoshi Mio – USA TODAY Sports

The No. 1 player in the transfer portal is on his way to Columbus.

Caleb Downs, who had 107 tackles as a freshman for Alabama this past season, is heading to Ohio State to join a defense that already returns nine starters from a group that finished No. 2 nationally in scoring and No. 3 in total defense.

Needless to say, the addition elicited a number of exuberant reactions from pundits, fans and Ohio State coaches and players on the Twittersphere (Xsphere?). Not the least of which came from the Buckeyes' own football account:

Ohio State general manager Mark Pantoni made it clear that the Buckeyes' run through the transfer portal has been part of an all-in push.

He was far from the only Ohio State coach/staffer to have a celebratory reaction to the news of Downs' addition.

Include outgoing Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith in that conversation as well, who also made sure to congratulate the women's hockey, women's tennis and wrestling teams on their own big days.

Ohio State's players were more than happy to welcome their new teammate to the fold as well.

That excitement extended to some incoming recruits, as No. 1 overall prospect Jeremiah Smith joined four-star offensive tackle Deontae Armstrong among others in voicing their support.

Former Ohio State running back Maurice Clarett, who has been highly critical of Ryan Day in the past but has started to change his tune after the cavalcade of good news the past few weeks, feels it's national title or bust for the Buckeyes.

He's not the only former player excited by the latest development in Ohio State's offseason saga.

Plenty of major media personalities are talking up Downs' commitment as well. Not least among them is another former Buckeye in Kirk Herbstreit.

And in case fans were wondering who to give a pile of credit to for this pledge, Pantoni also made sure to give the leading man his due.

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